“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”
March is Women’s History Month, which “honors and celebrates the struggles and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States.” What began in 1909 as Women’s History Day became Women’s History Week in 1978, and Women’s History Month in 1987. Perhaps we are approaching a Women’s History Year? When this happens, the commemoration will no longer be necessary.
Meanwhile, we will vigorously celebrate the month of March and perennially honor all women’s achievements during the other 11 months.
Virginia Woolf— (1882-1941) was British and is a feminist literary icon. Woolf wrote lyrical authentic fictional accounts about the inner lives of women and was one of the first writers to use stream-of-consciousness, “a literary style in which a character’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions are depicted in a continuous flow uninterrupted by objective description or conventional dialogue.”
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was an early feminist writer in the United States, Her fiction, “challenged society’s expectations for women by daring to explore romance outside her marriage and gratification outside of motherhood.” Her masterpiece The Awakening, was panned by one critic as, “morbid,” “feeble,” and “vulgar.”
Kate Chopin and Virginia Woolf did not set out to be career writers. The prospects would not have been good for them in the Victorian era and early 20th Century. Neither believed their writing would “matter for the ages.” They began writing, not as a job but as a vocation.
Speaking of vocations, here are two very short inspirational videos by contemporary American writer, Elizabeth Gilbert—author of the memoir Eat, Pray, Love. the novel, The Signature of All Things, set in the Victorian era, and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Here Gilbert distinguishes vocation from hobby, job, career
Here Gilbert discusses how to live creatively
OUR NEXT MEETING IS TUESDAY, MARCH 9 AT 6:30 PM ON ZOOM
(we look forward to planning for our first official in-person meeting this summer)
At our February meeting, Pam Lafollette led us in a craft exercise in honor of Valentine’s Day. We crafted small books in which we were to write an ode to someone or something we love. There was a good bit of laughter as we clumsily attempted to fold sheets of paper into a book. And some wonderful odes!
Our monthly meeting date is March 9. Still at 6:30 PM. Still on Zoom videoconference until further notice. Still the usual activities—conversations about the writing life, visiting authors, peer commentary and writing tips. Whether you are a frequent participant, a new member, or a woman looking for a writing community, join us!
Sign-in to our March 9 meeting 5 minutes before 6:30 PM
The meeting link is available in the monthly newsletter or you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
You will be placed in a waiting room/No password necessary
Troubles connecting? Text Kim at 502-417-3424
Opening conversation—Prepare to share something about a woman writer (poetry or prose) who has had a powerful effect on your writing life (or life, in general). Create one trivia statement re: this writer if you are able. We’ll give everyone a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting.
Update— Members and leaders will share resources for writing, writer achievements and opportunities.
Peer commentary—As usual, we need volunteers to share up to five pieces of prose and/or poetry (4 pages double-spaced for prose and up to 3 poems). Please forward your manuscript to email@example.com by Tuesday 3/9 noon. The host will screen-share your work so you can read it aloud while the group members follow.
We will comment on strengths and opportunities for each piece presented. One way we can all help our writing peers is to ask ourselves the questions, “What is this story or poem about? What can the writer do to finish the piece? We try to make comments on four elements—voice, flow, theme and arc.
For more specific critiques, consider opting to be a “writing buddy.” At our April meeting, we’ll pair writing buddies. At our May meeting, writing buddies will share their progress in revision.
Here is an excellent review of rules for good storytelling Pixar’s 6 rules of good storytelling.
THE 15TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S BOOK FESTIVAL
SATURDAY, MARCH 13TH
The Kentucky Women’s Book Festival is March 13th 10 AM to 12:30 PM, virtually via Microsoft Teams. The festival’s opening speaker will be Cassie Chambers Armstrong, Louisville Metro Councilwoman and Author of Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachians. “
Other speakers will include a panel of ten authors from the Louisville Story publication, The Fights We Fought Have Brought Us Here. These “ten young writers from Central High School, Muhammad Ali’s alma mater, write about the struggles that have brought them to where they are today.”
The March 13 Women’s Book Festival will include a remembrance of two University of Louisville writers who died in 2020—Carridder “Rita” Jones, a founder of Women Who Write, and Annette Allen, poet and instructor, supporter of Women Who Write. Both were terrific literary citizens, supporting especially the work of women.
Register for the Festival now!
A LITERARY JOB OPPORTUNITY~
Please contact Louisville Literary Arts advisory board member firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and application information.
Write for our blog— Submit short fiction, nonfiction and poetry to be included on our blog (less than 1,200 words of prose). Essays about the writing process, publication, and craft tips are also welcome. Members, please pitch a blog idea or paste your writing in an e-mail to email@example.com. Help us provide content and encouragement to writers.
Learn about submission requests and contests at https://www.newpages.com. which enables you to find specific markets for your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
Consider submitting to the following online literary venues that specialize in women’s writing—
HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR WRITING COMMUNITY.
Become a member—As a community, WWW strives to nurture your writing life. We hope you choose to join or renew as a member and participate in our monthly meetings, author talks, retreats, and workshops. Please share your ideas for future programming! You can attend two meetings as a non-member, before joining for $50. Students 18 and older enrolled in school can become members for $25.
Like our Facebook Page—@womenwhowriteky has 899 followers. You can help us move toward 1,000 followers. Like our Facebook page (and linger awhile to take advantage of the posted content).
Join the leadership team—We need a social network coordinator for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, etc. If you have questions specific to these positions, please email us from our website.
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
The leadership team— Kimberly, Terri, Pam, Melony & Alisa
PS—The header photo is Virginia Woolf wallpaper by Laura Miller on Flickr